Category: review

read this: the nightingale

I feel like it’s been too long since I’ve read fiction that I absolutely loved and could not put down. That was me with The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah. No matter how short the free time I had was, I had to keep reading.

The book follows two sisters during World War II in France. The sisters lead different lives, one with a family and the other much younger, determined to make a difference in the war.  I love books that are told from different points of view, this book starts with an elderly lady (one of the sisters) thinking back to her life in France and gives the story from the point of view of both of the sisters during the wars.

This incredibly well written book is definitely worth reading, particularly if you love historical fiction. It is an interesting perspective as not many books about the war are told from the point of view of women.

What’s the best book you’ve read recently? What should I put on my list?

what is tsu?

You may have seen articles about Tsu recently, I first came across it on Facebook. Articles like: Facebook is Blacking Out a Small Social Network Rival that Pays People for Posts. Now, there is some debate on whether facebook legitimately thought it was spam or if they were just afraid of the competition, but regardless.

Tsu’s philosophy is that it can share it’s ad revenue with the content creators, the people that actually make a social network worthwhile, and that’s its users. Now, obviously this isn’t a place to make quick cash online but it is an interesting concept – I share my photos and thoughts on social platforms and I’m fine with them making money but to share it with the users. Most articles claim Tsu is invite only, but I managed to sign up but you can use my link to sign up as well. It’s like other sites like swagbucks and dailyrewards that reward you for subscribers.

I’ve been using Tsu for about a week, I like it as another way to share my blog with the world. It is definitely the world, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of users in Canada (yet) but I assume that was the case with all social media sites, they had to start somewhere. The design of it feels like facebook, twitter and instagram mashed into one platform. You can also post from Tsu to other networks, although I don’t really use that function. You can use hashtags but most tend to start with tsu. There is “friends” and “followers” but since I plan on using it more like Twitter, rather than Facebook which is a little more private and geared towards my friends and family, I accept most friend requests that come my way but some people like to keep it separate. If they’re a follower, they can see your public stuff like on Twitter and friends is for things you choose to share privately.

I think there’s an opportunity for people who take tons of food photos, or diy bloggers or great lifestyle bloggers to find their niche. I think it will be interesting to see how the site develops over the next few months, it is already very popular in India and South America (just based on the users I’ve seen) but there is definitely a use for it in North America. Is it just another social media platform to have to learn? Perhaps, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

If you’d like to sign up, you can use my invite. And if you’re already on Tsu, let me know – I’m always looking for more people to follow.

how I think #FibralogyWorks

 

I received L’Oreal’s new Fibrology from Influenster to try out. I have a lot of hair, but it can occasionally get really heavy, if I don’t keep up with trimming it which I never do so I was intrigued that this product would give me more volume. IMG_0375.JPGThe kit included shampoo and conditioner and an additional bottle. I assumed was leave-in conditioner but like with the garnier make up remover, I’m glad I read the label. This product was like a mask, to be used in between the shampoo and conditioner. I’m a sucker for good packaging and I loved the packaging of all the products. But shampoo can not be judged alone on packaging – I gave the product a try.

All three of the products smelled really nice, not overly strong but enough. I didn’t expect crazy results after the first use, I kept my expectation lows. And I didn’t notice a difference. I did notice that my hair felt a little greasier than usual and I didn’t do any after shower things differently, just a little defrizzer. Despite this first experience, I decided to give it another try but I skipped the in-between step and found it wasn’t as greasy. I used the shampoo and conditioner a few more times and I did notice a little more volume at the crown of my head.

I’ve used it about 3-4 times (I don’t wash my hair that frequently) and I’ll continue to use it until I get to the end.  I think that will be the best way to determine if the volume is worth it. If my heavy hair saw a bit of volume, I’m curious to see what other thought.

Have you tried Fibralogy? What did you think?

Taking off the day with #GarnierSensitive

I was provided a sample of Garnier Clean+. When I first saw the product, I assumed it was another face cleanser, good thing I actually read the label! It said to apply to my face and remove with cotton or water and it would remove all my make up, including waterproof mascara.

I don’t wear a ton of makeup (I usually call it “don’t scare the villagers” amount) but my daily makeup includes concealer, bb cream, eye shadow, mascara and bronzer. I usually find that even when I take my makeup off at night, I usually have to take more off in the morning. So, I did as instructed, rubbed the product all over my face including my eyes. And I really rubbed my eyes, making sure to get all of the mascara and it didn’t sting my eyes (unlike another makeup remover, who shall remain nameless). The product smells really fresh and clean and it feels great on my face. I hate greasy/oily makeup remover and this product doesn’t leave a gross residue behind.

I’ve only used the product for a few days but I love the feeling of my skin so far (which has been so sad and dry this winter). I also found it remove makeup really well. I would recommend this product if you’re looking for a new makeup remover.

Have you seen Garnier Clean+ yet? Have you tried it yet?

Disclaimer: Product has been provided by Garnier Canada, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Garnier Canada.

blogger book club: the fault in our stars

I know the blog has been pretty quiet this week. These weeks are just getting away from me. I did complete this month’s book club reading for my blogger book club.

For the month of February, the theme was “romance”. My friend lent me The Fault in Our Stars a while ago, so I thought it this was the perfect opportunity to read it. It is a young adult novel so it was a quick read. If you were trying you could finish it in a couple of days.

 

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In case you aren’t familiar with the book or the movie it follows the story of two teens who meet at a cancer support group. The story is sweet, occasionally funny and occasionally extremely sad. I would recommend this novel if you’re a fan of love stories, I may even watch the movie [not likely, I rarely watch movies at home :)].

Have you read this novel? What did you think?

 


blogger book club: #girlboss

One of my resolutions for this year was to read a book a month. That probably doesn’t sound like much but sometimes it can be hard to find time to do it. So when Sarah Ohm suggested a blogger book club, I thought it was be a great chance to stick to my resolution and probably get to read something different. You can see a linkup at the bottom of others who are participating and which books they chose for their read this month.

So this book club is virtual and instead of reading the same book as everyone else, we have a theme. This month’s theme was Motivational Reading. I’ve had #GIRLBOSS on my list of a while so I was pretty excited that I could get it in time through the library (free books for the win).

If you’re not familiar with #GIRLBOSS, it is the story of the founder of Nasty Gal, an American clothing company. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything in her book, I still love reading/hearing/meeting women in business. I love hearing stories of turning something from nothing. It’s really remarkable that she was basically homeless and shoplifting and is now the owner of a multi-million dollar company. I was glad I picked this book for my motivational read this month, it definitely re-inspired the #GIRLBOSS in me. It’s also an easy read, short and simply written but worth picking up.

Have you read #GIRLBOSS? What did you think?

 

 


dining out: aji sai thornhill

I’ve mentioned before I really enjoy All-You-Can-Eat sushi. I love it for a long dinner with friends with lots of time to catch up and out eat each other. I also know that all-you-can-eat can be hit-or-miss on quality, when it is so cheap, sometimes quality can be affected but at Aji Sai, that’s not the case.

There are a couple of Aji Sais in the Toronto area. I’ve been to the one on Queen St and it’s pretty good but I think the one in Thornhill is even better. If you live North of the city or have a car, it’s definitely worth checking out. I’ve been a couple of times and each time the quality is noticeable. The fish is really fresh, I wouldn’t think I would be able to tell but I definitely noticed a difference.

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That is merely a sampling of the sushi we got. I couldn’t show you all of it, I don’t think my phone would have enough memory to hold that many photos ;). We ordered… a lot. And it was all delicious. The price is also very competitive, it is $22.99 for the weekend.

The only downside with Aji Sai is the service isn’t great. The servers are friendly but it is really slow. It is really hard to get someone’s attention to order, the food comes within a reasonable amount of time but just be aware that it will probably be a long meal. I’ve gone for lunch and dinner and found that both times it was slow but delicious so worth it once in a while.

 

Aji Sai on Urbanspoon

crazy read: crazytown

I started reading Crazytown: The Rob Ford Story on my flight to Vegas and finished reading it before I left pool side on Friday. I really enjoyed the book. There isn’t really any spoilers because you’d have to be living under a rock, particularly if you live in Toronto to not know at least the very basics of the Rob Ford story.

I thought Doolittle did a great job however of going one step further than what we saw in the media by writing the story behind the story. She covers how she learned about the video and Rob Ford’s connection. It was interesting to see how the story becomes a piece of journalism, something I’m sure most people never considered. I would never have guessed that those stories were timed specifically, I would think that once the facts are straight (or as straight as possible), the story gets out there. It was also fascinating to see how “Ford Nation” developed. It gave insight into the community and the politics of Etobicoke and Toronto as a whole. I also thought Doolittle did a good job of giving some extra details for non-Toronto readers. Most readers would know the geography of the city and some of the events written about but she covers them in a bit of detail without being too monotonous. I would recommend this book for anyone who is into politics or into the scandals, it was definitely a great read. I read the updated version, that has more details than the original release but is before the most recent election. It was also interesting to read it knowing how some of the stories turned out for each of the politicians.

a light read: listen to the squawking chicken

Those who know me, know I’m not a celebrity gossip person. I don’t follow the Kardashians or the Biebers and I couldn’t be happier. I did however start watching The Social sometime last year, I oringinally thought it would just be another View but I actually really enjoyed it. That’s when I learned about Lainey (apparently she does lots in the gossip world but I never would have known). I occasionally find a lot of similarities with her so was curious when she said she was writing a book.

Listen to the Squawking Chicken” is a memoir about her and her mother. She recalls a number of stories from throughout her life involving her often over-baring mother. In addition to exploring her mother-daughter relationship, she also discusses a lot of what it means to be a first-generation Canadian and how growing up for her was often difficult because of cultural differences. The novel is very short at under 160 pages and is a very easy read, I finished it in less than a day and really enjoyed it. The book is funny, touching and entertaining and I’d recommend it for a quick read on a patio this summer.

Have you read this novel? What are you reading this summer?

my new favourite nail polish

I’ll be honest, I was a little disappointed with my most recent Color Show, I found it was very translucent so decided to try another brand for the summer. I originally saw the Gel Envy on I’m a Beauty Geek and thought it looked really pretty.

I’ve never tried gel nail polish before, but I’ve done shellac and it completely destroyed my nails – I was not looking for something similar to that. I liked the idea that it gave the gel effect without needing a light, because really it just seems like so much effort. So I bought the nail polish AND the top coat (I’m terrible and don’t often purchase the top coat). It also included the base coat in the nail polish, which is good because as you can guess, I never wear a base coat. Each bottle was $8.99, little more than I normally spend but not the highest end for sure. It also can occasionally be found on sale.

The nail polish went on really smoothly and looked good even after one coat but I still added the second one. About ten minutes later, I put the top coat on and it dried relatively quickly (that’s also usually a problem for me, messing up my nails before even getting off the couch).

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I would say that it lasted about 3-4 days before I noticed any chipping and I had to take it off by day 5. I’ve read some people have better luck with it lasting longer but this is about as long as any other nail polish has lasted for me so I was pretty happy. It comes off fairly easily (for a dark colour) and I did love the shine.

Tell me, what’s your favourite drug store brand nail polish? I’m always looking for my next one.